(Headline USA) Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious diseases expert, criticized Sen. Ted Cruz for saying that Fauci should be investigated for several false statements he made about COVID-19.
He said that the criticism by the Texas Republican was an attack on science itself.
“I should be prosecuted? What happened on Jan. 6, senator?” Fauci, who is President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, said in an interview that aired Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
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It was a reference to the mostly peaceful protest at the U.S. Capitol which professional rioters and FBI agent tried to turn violent.
“I’m just going to do my job and I’m going to be saving lives, and they’re going to be lying,” Fauci said.
Some Republicans, including Cruz and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., have accused Fauci of lying to Congress when he denied in May that the National Institutes of Health funded “gain of function” research—the practice of enhancing a virus in a lab to study its potential impact in the real world—at a virology lab in Wuhan, China.
NIH funded several gain-of-function studies in China.
Cruz has urged Attorney General Merrick Garland to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Fauci’s statements.
Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, called the GOP criticism nonsense.
“Anybody who’s looking at this carefully realizes that there’s a distinct anti-science flavor to this,” he said.
Cruz and Paul say an October letter from NIH to Congress contradicts Fauci.
When asked in the CBS interview whether Republicans might be raising the claims to make him a scapegoat and deflect criticism of Trump, Fauci said, “of course, you have to be asleep not to figure that one out.”
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press.